Diamonds aren't forever - Disneyland concludes its 60th celebration

September 5, 2016, 8:33 PM · Tonight marks the end of the 15-month-plus 60th anniversary "Diamond Celebration" at the Disneyland Resort. Walt Disney's original theme park is actually 61 years old now, and the resort is putting away the three shows it debuted for the anniversary: World of Color - Celebrate, Disneyland Forever and Paint the Night.

No one seems to be mourning the demise of the World of Color show. Most fans we've heard are looking forward to the return of the latest version of the original show, in fact. And Paint the Night will be returning to Disneyland later this year, before taking another hiatus in advance of its expected return by next summer. (Sorry, Disney World fans. We're just not hearing any chatter that the next-generation electrical parade will be coming your way.)

So the big loss, for many Disneyland fans, seems to be Disneyland Forever, the fireworks show that brought Main Street, the castle, the Matterhorn and more to animated life with delightful projections.

I wasn't able to make it to the park today, but I did catch the next-to-last performance from the top floor of the Disneyland Hotel last night. Disneyland will be getting the old Fantasy in the Sky show back on a limited basis, but that old show just doesn't pack the power or the spectacle of Disneyland Forever. Here's hoping that by the time the park complete more of the Star Wars Land construction on the north side of the property, it will be able to support the launch of more advanced pyro shows, allowing Disneyland fans to enjoy something on the caliber of Disneyland Forever again and again.

In the meantime, take a look back at our coverage of the #Disneyland60 Diamond Celebration.

Replies (11)

September 7, 2016 at 9:46 AM · We really enjoyed the 60th last year. And special thanks to an incomparable Cali local, Crazee4mm, who helped make it an extra-special vacation for us!
September 6, 2016 at 6:03 AM · I'm not sure what is more amazing to me... Disneyland is 60 years old... or that the celebration is already over. It's a reminder to me how we have come so far and yet only just started.

Here's to the future of theme parks! Where ever they are!

September 6, 2016 at 7:50 AM · "(Sorry, Disney World fans. We're just not hearing any chatter that the next-generation electrical parade will be coming your way.) "

Do you have information on what will happen at WDW's MK? Will there just be no nighttime parade anymore?

September 6, 2016 at 5:15 PM · MK gets the refurbished MSEP back when Paint the Night resumes at Disneyland next summer?
September 6, 2016 at 7:07 PM · Re. the refurbished MSEP returning to WDW. So did they bring it back to California primarily to do the rehab work? I know so much of Disney's parks worldwide have attractions that were actually built in Glendale/Burbank and then shipped to the site so it wouldn't surprise me.
September 6, 2016 at 9:11 PM · I enjoyed all the 60th anniversary shows (including Celebrate, which I preferred to the original World of Color), but I honestly can't say I'm overly sad about any of them leaving. For me, most theme park shows are good for two or three viewings, but after that I usually won't re-watch a show until it's been several years since I last saw it (unless I'm with others who want to see it, of course). While Paint the Night will continue, the other shows were very specific to the 60th anniversary, and it makes sense to replace them with something else now that the celebration is over. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see a new firework show and/or a new version of World of Color premiere next summer alongside the revitalized Fantasmic.

Regarding Main Street Electrical Parade, everything I've heard seems to point toward this upcoming run being the final run of the parade, and that there are no plans to send it back to Magic Kingdom. The parade units are over 40 years old and there is only so much life left in them. The real question is, "how long will the run be?" Reportedly guest satisfaction surveys will be used to determine that, and depending on reception it could wind up running as Disneyland's off-season parade for several years while the more expensive Paint the Night plays during peak season. If it doesn't connect with audiences, however, 2017 may be the final year. As for Magic Kingdom, work has supposedly begun on a new nighttime parade exclusive to that park, but it won't be ready in time for 2017 (besides, the focus will be on Animal Kingdom next year).

September 6, 2016 at 10:00 PM · You're welcome.
September 7, 2016 at 3:42 AM · I'm so glad I had the opportunity to take my family cross country to the 60th anniversary last year. Those night shows really did make the experience phenomenal, and we even got to Mickey's Halloween Party, which despite being overpriced made another awesome nighttime experience. I don't know if their next celebration will be for 70 or 75 years, but we sure will be eager to return for that.

AJ is right though, even when a show is spectacular, how many times do you need to see it ? Nothing really compares to the first time (unless you get a better viewing area that makes a huge difference).

So for me (a big DL fan, but infrequent visitor) it's not necessarily the losses that bother me, but the replacement with sub-par shows (like MSEP) that hold back reason to make the more expensive cross country trip. I've been to DL only twice (both multi day visits) and have yet to see DL's version of Fantasmic!, due to it being the offseason. That annoys me the most, that offseason visitors get jipped on things that that, which really could have been the highlight of their trip. They should be rewarded for their patronage during that period, and it's not like Disney can't afford to put on those shows every night...

September 8, 2016 at 7:21 AM · Does anyone know when the Fanatsy in the Sky is debuting? I want to go Friday September 30th and I want to know if they'll haveany fireworks show happening that night.

September 8, 2016 at 11:38 AM · Fantasy in the Sky starts tomorrow (September 9th) and will Fri-Sun (nightly during winter break) through at least the end of the year. However, it is not playing on nights with Mickey's Halloween Party, which I believe is on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday this year (though I'm not certain of the exact schedule). Make sure to check the park's website before visiting if seeing the show is a reason for the trip.
September 8, 2016 at 1:11 PM · Thank you AJ. Actually I just saw a YouTube video of the show and it looks disappointing and too short in my opinion. I'm glad the Halloween Party has a special fireworks show on Friday. I might go to that one and check it out instead.

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